Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe Theme Essay

What is the first thing you notice when your first meet someone? Could it be their hair, their stride, or the way they dress? Although even if you look past outwardly appearances and first impressions, judgment and prejudice will always make its way through. How you are acknowledged within society is paramount in Umuofia, the protagonist’s home village in the novel Things Fall Apart by Chinua Achebe. Because of this importance of how you are perceived within society, Okonkwo is pressured into completely shaping his attitude and exterior in order to accomplish the appearance he strives for. The importance of appearance within society is significant within the novel and is achieved by the themes of perseverance in order to achieve the social appearance that one wants, the treatment of women in order to raise a man’s respect from his family, and the idea that the amount physical materials represent wealth.
Perseverance and determination constantly drives Okonkwo throughout the novel for his will to achieve the appearance he strives for. His sole goal in life was accomplishing to be everything his father wasn’t in order to become successful and to be perceived differently. Despite the infamous reputation of his father, Unoka, Okonkwo tries his best to persevere and work hard in order to earn the respect he yearns for. In the process he lost all sense of sympathy, kindness, and will to put aside time for leisure due to the fact that his father contained those characteristics. Everything his father has done, he looks down upon and makes an endeavor to be the exact opposite. He also works hard in order to maintain that reputation within the household and in the village by even making his wives and children fear him in order to gain respect. Thus, the theme of perseverance is represented throughout the story as Okonkwo carries forth his efforts in establishing a status that is completely separate and opposite than that of his father’s reputation.
The treatment of women...